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Pedicabbers Call D.C.'s New Regulations Unfair, Unnecessary

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The D.C. government rolled out pedicab regulations July 20 amidst rising tensions between pedicab operators and the U.S. Park Police.
David Schultz
The D.C. government rolled out pedicab regulations July 20 amidst rising tensions between pedicab operators and the U.S. Park Police.

The new regulations require pedicabs to have seat belts, and pedicab operators to wear reflective safety vests at all times.

Peter MacNeill, standing in front of his pedicab next to the White House, says the regulations are totally unnecessary.

"These things don't go much faster than the average person jogs," he says. "So why we need safety regulations after five years when we've had no safety incidences is beyond comprehension."

Alice Kelly, with D.C.'s Department of Transportation, acknowledges there have been no cases of accidents or injuries involving a pedicab in the District.

"In this case we were trying to get out ahead of the issue, if you will, not to wait until there were accidents," she says.

Many pedicabbers say they've been the victims of police harassment this summer. U.S. Park Police have arrested at least two pedicab drivers so far, and last week an officer shocked a pedicab operator with a Taser.

Kelly says those arrests are what prompted the District to act now.

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